By Chris Case
March 16, 2020

102 // Performance Psychology with Julie Emmerman, Payson McElveen, and Grant Holicky

As the world’s attention is fixated on the spread of COVID-19, many of us are feeling various amounts of stress and anxiety. We want to acknowledge that fact; these are challenging times. By coincidence, we recorded and planned to release today an episode on performance psychology, specifically on the principles of confidence, resilience, the power of reframing, self-talk, and much more. Though this episode doesn’t address the type of anxiety you might be feeling head on, there are immense lessons to be learned in this episode that are applicable both to riding your bike faster, and living your life in a more healthy, mindful way. At times like these, we hope there are meaningful lessons to be gained from our discussion.

To our devoted listeners, we send wishes of continued health and tranquility. We hope this episode helps you cope through a stressful time.

Now, a few simple questions: What is confidence? What is resiliency? What is pressure, and how can we better cope with it? These are just some of the questions we tackle in today’s episode. And while you might think you have a fair idea of what these terms mean, with the help of our incredible guest, clinical and sports psychologist Julie Emmerman, we open new doors on a landscape that few of us regularly consider a part of our training.

That’s because we’ve been conditioned, when we consider the act of training for our endurance sport of choice, to think about it in physical, physiological terms. Today, we spend much of our time devoted to revealing ways to tap into the psychological aspects of training.

I’m very excited to have Julie on the program, to share her wisdom from her many years spent working with professional cyclists, NHL players, MMA fighters, and everything in between. She won’t offer us some simplified, cliche “Seven Ways to Build Confidence” pitch—something you might see on the cover of GQ magazine or a self-help book. What she will provide is a deeper understanding of some of the most fundamental psychological principles at play in athletes, and how you can learn to better utilize them to your advantage.

Want to know how the best athletes operate, psychologically, and what qualities they possess that make them so good at what they do? Stay tuned. Would you like to understand how to use the power of the brain to utilize everyday tasks, big and small, to refine your cycling performances? Listen in. And, if you were a fan of Jack Handy’s “Deep Thoughts” from Saturday Night Live, we might have something for you, too.

Joining us also in this episode are two friends of the podcast: Red Bull athlete and the host of “The Adventure Stache” podcast, Payson McElveen, as well as endurance sports coach, and host of the Off Course podcast, Grant Holicky.

Now, kick your feet up on the couch. Your counseling session is about to begin. Let’s have some deep thoughts, and let’s make you fast!

Primary Guest
Julie Emmerman: Sports and clinical psychologist

Secondary Guests
Payson McElveen: Two-time mountain bike marathon national champion
Grant Holicky: Elite endurance coach


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REFERENCES
  1. Brick, N. E., MacIntyre, T. E., & Campbell, M. J. (2016). Thinking and Action: A Cognitive Perspective on Self-Regulation during Endurance Performance. Front Physiol, 7, 159. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00159
  2. Corbett, J., Barwood, M. J., Ouzounoglou, A., Thelwell, R., & Dicks, M. (2012). Influence of competition on performance and pacing during cycling exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 44(3), 509-515. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31823378b1
  3. Hatzigeorgiadis, A. (2002). Thoughts of escape during competition: relationships with goal orientations and self-consciousness. [Article]. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 3(3), 195-207. doi: 10.1016/s1469-0292(01)00039-5
  4. Hays, K., Maynard, I., Thomas, O., & Bawden, M. (2007). Sources and types of confidence identified by World class sport performers. [Article]. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 19(4), 434-456. doi: 10.1080/10413200701599173
  5. Latinjak, A. T., Torregrosa, M., & Renom, J. (2010). Studying the effects of self-talk on thought content with male adult tennis players. Percept Mot Skills, 111(1), 249-260. doi: 10.2466/02.05.28.PMS.111.4.249-260

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